Filling Shoes

Classic.  There are few things that fit this definition.

Ballet flats

A great little black dress

A well written thank you note

Once in a while you run across people who fit into this category too.

Frank Sinatra

Audrey Hepburn

Hank Williams

Today, we lost another classic – George Jones. The soundtrack to my childhood in south Alabama was punctuated by George Jones. I remember summer days when George Jones was playing late into the night after a great grill session mastered by my Dad.  I remember traveling with my PawPaw in his pick-up truck to deliver vegetables across town and hearing George in the background.  Music has the power of becoming so interwoven with your life that it becomes hard to distinguish where the events start and the music takes over.  I often wonder if we have the memory because the event was so great or does the music make the event greater than the event actually was?  It has always been a little bit of both for me.

George Jones spotlights another memory for me and perhaps one of the most important turning point moments of my life.  My first year of law school was almost over. I started my first day of school with the dream of helping to make creative pieces that would leave a lasting mark. The end of March arrived, and I had ruled out big firms, insurance defense and hospital work. I had law school loans mounting, basically no job prospects in sight and was foolishly too stubborn to give up on my dreams.  It wasn’t music.  It wasn’t movies.  And, none of it was for me.

Unbeknownst to me, all the way in Nashville, Tennessee, George made a decision that helped to change the course of my career.  He agreed to take part in a 9-11 tribute album titled Never Forget and release a new song, after many years of enjoying a more quiet life.  The attorney in town who was producing the album needed help and needed someone who loved classic country music to work on clearing the rights.  After the strangest interview to date …  in the back of a bar … dressed in a corporate suite complete with pearls …  in downtown Jackson, Mississippi – I found myself hired to work on the project.

What transpired over my remaining years of law school are some of my best law school memories punctuated by George and his music.  Long nights toiling over what music clearance really looks like and how to achieve your end goal for rights, trips to New York visiting the offices of BMI for the first time, my first meetings in Nashville on music row and playing air hockey in the basement of Aaron Tippin’s home late into the night.

I believe there are signs given along the way that show us that we’re on the path that is meant for us and point us in the direction to fulfill our dreams.  For me, that was George.  Thank you from the little girl from Alabama who still has dreams to fulfill.  By your choices in music projects, you set me on the path to fill the shoes and to continue music’s history.  Thank you for helping to check off a box on the Ryanne Dream List.

Who’s gonna fill their shoes
Who’s gonna stand that tall
Who’s gonna play the Opry
And the Wabash Cannonball
Who’s gonna give their heart and soul
To get to me and you
Lord I wonder, who’s gonna fill their shoes

Lyrics to “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” by George Jones

Finally, if you haven’t ever sat back with an adult beverage and listened to the lyrics, melody and music structure of a George Jones song, you must do this immediately.  

Here’s a link to the five performances, via MSN, that you must see:

No excuses.  Run, don’t walk, and stay tuned in.

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